Wednesday, 26 December 2018


As the year is quickly coming to an end (late Christmas Eve as I write this) and the official holiday time has approached us. I feel like it's that time of the year where you can truly reflect on the year you’ve just had. You work out and summarise if you've had a sh** year or not. And for some that can lead to this festive period, feeling like a real emotional time. Christmas is about love, joy, cheer, merriment, pulling crackers, celebrations, sprouts, long walks, mulled wine, family and everything in between.....So why on earth am I about to talk to you about Death.

This year has been incredible work wise. I toured a no.1 hit show, working with the no.1 theatre company in the world. Travelled across America, lived in New York and worked with the most talented, hard working bunch of people that I have ever had the pleasure to work with (epic but true). I also got to celebrate my best friend getting married (with an epic hen in Las Vegas), travelled to the south of France with an amazing group of friends to watch a magical open air amphitheater performance of Jamiroquai (With my friend Sola Akinbola drumming). I also got cast in a TV bbc drama 'Gold Digger', playing a younger Nikki Amuka Bird (inspired me for years), which will be on your screens next year. Also recorded an gripping political radio play for bbc, filmed a commercial, performed and worked on a new musical with a stella cast. But what I never ever shared with you is that I lost one of my closest friends to cancer earlier in the year. 

I was in NY at the time and Vikki deteriorated quite suddenly. I literally got a call and she was passing the next day. I was up searching for flights to come back on the Sunday to see her to say goodbye, but it was too late. At the time I was told she had gone, I acted like everything was normal. I got on the subway, travelled to work and then completely broke down. There were discussions of me not going on (to perform in King Lear at Bam Theatre, Brooklyn) but I somehow thought of Vikki and managed it. I had a convo with her in March, she was having chemo again and wasn’t feeling fit enough to watch my show which was at the Hackney Empire, London at the time. She kept apologising, and I just thought she was poorly from the chemo (unaware that that would be the last conversation I'd have with her). Even being at her funeral I didn’t actually fully register that she was gone (felt surreal). It’s only really this last week that I think I've felt ready to open up and accept that she’s no longer with us. I’ve had time to think about her husband Mike's first Christmas without her. I want her to text me to let me know when to drop off the boys gifts (she has two adorable sons), I want her to call me to tell me how her treatments are going.....And I want her to reflect the question back to me (as she always did) and ask how I’m doing. When Dag (Vikki who I've written about before here) first told me she had breast cancer in late 2015, I knew the angels would need her but I didn’t realise she’d be needed so quickly. As my mum had cancer I always felt like Dag could be really frank and honest with her illness with me. I would ask the questions that needed asking and she knew that I didn't need to hear only the good. In New York I wanted her selfishly not to pass whilst my mind and body was so wrapped up and distracted in acting work. All of my friends at the time rallied around her bedside in Queens hospital, Essex and were with her till the utter end....apart from me.

Also whilst being in New York I was told that my grandad was really ill and in hospital again. At 87, I’ve slowly seen him get frail and more poorly over the years. Then on a what’s app family group by my aunt (oddly not on my grandads side), I was casually informed that he had passed. My aunt thought everyone on the whats app group knew and was passing on her condolences (I didn't know because of the US time difference). My dad wanted to tell me at the right time. I immediately phoned my dad once reading the whats app message, and he said he was planning to tell me once back, as he didn't want me to worry (But I was worried, worried about how he was feeling after just losing his dad)

So after Vikki and my grandads funeral, which I didn’t attend because my dad said there’s no point flying back from NYC as grandad wouldn’t want that. He wanted to see you in Eastenders! (grandad would literally always ask me 'when am I going to see you in eastenders'. Every single time I saw him). I didn’t go to my grandads funeral as my family assured me that in grandad's heart, he’d would rather watch me on stage, doing what I know he loved, that he knew I only dreamed of doing (it just made sense to us).

But what I was also not sharing with you recently on instagram (because this definitely isn’t living 'the best life' content) or here. Is that seven weeks ago and five days after her 91st birthday, I lost my gran Claris Anastasia.....Now this is very hard to write....I just wasn’t prepared for that to happen. Gran lived a long story telling life (I loved hearing her stories) and still is such a remarkable women who I don’t think they make like her anymore. She had time and love for absolutely everyone and anyone. She didn’t care who you were, because she would invite you into her home. Gran didn’t have any old fashioned stale values (even at 91). Her heart was enormous and probably why she had over 400 people attend her funeral. I also don’t know how she was able to have such a giving relationship with her eight children (one including my mum) and many grand and great gran children (over 30 of us on her side of my family). Claris was strong and fierce. Fought through a lot invited here to the UK, coming over from the caribbean in the 1960's. Highly religious but never in a preachy over bearing judgemental way. She was just so special and loyal to so many people. Gave the best advice and was always someone you knew you could immediately turn to. Seeing her deteriorate over the last few months, and hearing her trying to mouth
I love you back at me a day before she passed still breaks my heart.

And just the notion of watching her and other people you love suffer is what pains the most at this sensitive time of year. So with Christmas slap bang in your face and with no chance of escaping it (unless you find a sunny beach somewhere).....It’s okay to say you want to give Christmas a nice big
punch in the face this year. We have to stop this way of never ever talking about grief. It's okay to say you're hurting, that you feel a huge measure of saddened pain. 

You can hopefully see that after the year I've had that writing about fashion just didn't feel right. But I still have the time to smile and you can too. We would not grieve if we did not love, so remember there isn't a set guide on how you're supposed to feel and deal with death. I've been in shock for a while but writing this honest post has therapeutically already helped mentally. Hopefully in time you'll feel open to continue to love and see how beautiful this thing called life is (If writing can help you, do jot down your daily thoughts). And what really helps me is knowing that Vikki, Grandad and Gran would never ever want to see their friends and family cry or upset. They'd all be saying get out there love! dance and shine! Spend every day grateful for what you have and make every single moment count.......If you’re alone or feeling lonely this year, you're not alone because I’m sending you all my love and warm wishes  xxx Wishing you a Glorious Holiday Season and A Happy New Year xxx

(You also maybe reading this having never had an illness such as cancer immediately effect you or never felt the loss of missing a love one. So I really do thank you for clicking this post and reading a topic that I know is highly sensitive to discuss. But by putting into words hopefully you have a clearer understanding (as you may have someone you care about suffering from a loss). If you or anyone you love is effected please try not to deal with your difficulties alone. Macmillan is an amazing charity that are here for you to talk, especially during this festive season)
. X

*All vintage prints available to purchase framed and selected by Free Mile Style.


Monday, 8 October 2018


Dekalb Markethall Brooklyn
Clinton Hall NY Downtown

Travelling and living in NYC was a third time visit for me this year. And after having done the real tourist places of pizza, bagels, doughnuts, cupcakes and famous cheesecakes previously. I thought I'd share with you a few non-tourist places that probably do go under the Manhattan/Brooklyn beaming travel guide radar. Places that are fairly discreet and only real new yorkers living in the big city eat at. So if you're planning a little trip to the big apple soon, adore your secret gems like me, these places will hopefully be right up your street.......Ps. Can you please take me with you?! 

More Places
Petees Pie - Best apple pie I've tasted that I couldn't not eat to take a picture of. Open til late. You must check out their insta
National - A cast lunch between show favourite two minutes from Bam Theatre. Authentic Thai with a Brooklyn vibe. Honestly absolutely delicious food. 
Steve's Pizza - The cast and I came here most nights after the show, traveling from Brooklyn as they do the best slices of pizza and cream cheese bagels. I badly miss this little place.  
The Press Lounge - For sensational views and gorgeous cocktails. We went at night and forgot my flash to take snaps (Take a flash camera and fabulous outfit!).  


All images taken on the Olympus Pen 8.


Monday, 17 September 2018


You've probably got the gist of today's post from the title, and I just want to say a wee disclaimer. That this talk isn't ever to shame or hold any judgement towards anyone, on how you choose to style your hair on your own head. This is just an account of how I've personally been feeling since I decided to stop adding extensions and weave to my hair....And go fabulously afro natural. X

THE BEGINNING......So growing up as a teenager my hair was often braided as a student in school. It was so easy for my mum to do and didn't require too much fuss, apart from sitting in a chair for six hours to get it 'done'. I think as I started college I really began to experiment and play with different hair styles, to eventually go on to relax my hair. I also began adding a few tracks of extension into my relaxed straight hair for added volume. The weaved extensions were threaded and sown directly into my cornrowed hair, or I would actually glue tracks onto my scalp. Which I remember over time was very damaging and actually left me with serious bald patches (don't glue extensions to your head people). So after a while from adding tracks I went on to having a full head of weave done (fixed straight extensions permanently sown into your full head of cornrowed natural hair. I hope this is making sense to you). With the weaved hair style I really liked how I immediately felt more grown up as a teenager, and that I could simply just get up and go in the mornings (no faff). 

ROUTINE......Over the years into my twenties I carried on having different weaves done. Mainly changing in hair lengths from bobs to shoulder length to long 18 inches, but always sticking to a 1b dark brown shade (matching my natural hair colour). I would usually plait my straight weaved hair over night to create that tussled haven't brushed my hair morning look, or as I would say 'I want my hair to look like I've stuck my head in a bush', random but true. I was just never ever keen on the  sleek fresh 'just been done look', the more messier the better for me (I mean there definitely were days when I 100% definitely didn't brush my hair!). Every night I'd wear a head scarf over my weave just to keep my hair looking clean and to stop any over hair fraying. 

GROWING UP......I never really thought too much about the actual hair process. It was just a routine of getting my hair re-done by my amazing hairdresser to feel good, roughly every three months (the extensions I used was natural straight hair that you could wash. Again I hope this makes sense to you). Looking back it felt more like a habit that I didn't need to think twice about. My hairdresser (aka hair god) is super amazing, and I think because he did my hair so natural looking. I had so many people from the community asking me who did my hair, or they'd say they didn't know it was a weave. I even remember being complimented on my hair and me immediately replying with 'It's not my real hair' and the lovely lady saying "Girl, its on your head, so its your hair". At the time I just felt super comfortable. Although I think at the age of twenty seven-ish I completely stopped relaxing my hair, and started texturising instead, which was a lot safer to use with less enhanced harsh chemicals.  

WORK.....Then for an acting job a couple of years ago I was asked to have braids for the character I was playing. Which I initially loved once done (after eight long hours). But after a while I did start to feel very different about myself. I looked more caribbean in the mirror, which of course I am...but I guess my facial features appeared different and I really loved rocking this new braided, dare I say it (because I actually can't stand the term) - 'edgier look'. But after the job finished I immediately went back to my routine of wearing a long weave again. 

NOW.......Pushing on to this year (2018) and after finalising on another acting job. I naturally had this real urge to not want to wear weaves on my head anymore. I don't know why, i just didn't like the feeling of it on my head. My hairdresser for years had been telling me to have my gorgeous natural hair (his actual words), also had my boyfriend for years and even my sister has beautiful naturally afro hair. But it wasn't till I'd say, July time this year that I was really craving the change of look style wise. 

YOU.........Like I've mentioned I have nothing against a woman or man feeling truly themselves by wearing extensions. I just didn't feel like that look was truly me anymore. Not sure if it's part of me growing up but I'd look at pictures and hate my fake hair. So I decided on my next routine hair appointment to not go spend a ton on hair extensions in the shop. And to actually have my own hair out. So you can imagine my hairdresser who actually makes more money from me as a client (now a close friend) to have weave instead of treatments, was delighted with my decision of a natural hair style. He said trust me we can treat your hair (special professional products used to keep afro hair naturally soft and deeply moisturised, so it doesn't dry and break) every two weeks and get your real hair looking amazing. And I haven't looked back since. I just honestly feel more me now and it actually doesn't take too much time to style in the mornings. I do need to do more research and get a few more natural hair styles going, but I'm loving every second of my new hair so far. I just like how funky it looks and I love my natural colour. 

REVOLUTION......So now what I'm noticing, is more women with natural hair like me that I didn't really notice as much before. I do believe as a society growing up, we as women are deeply conditioned to think that our hair isn't beautiful enough, if it doesn't appear exactly how hair looks on the women in the glossy magazines (that I haven't read for years). But it really doesn't have to be that way. You or me should never ever have to feel lesser than anyone  because we don't have naturally long flowing commercially straight hair. We are all uniquely pretty and beautiful naturally as we are. So that's my current hair journey and Happy World Afro Day which is now every day for me. xX

Friday, 8 June 2018


Glasses/Vintage 5th Ave, Brooklyn

Summer is the season for our sweet hot style to truly flourish. The occasion to paint your toes and get your legs did. A time when were not not supposed to show any skin! (because dying of over heating is not an option). And at thirty three and not being able to do my twice a week running (sprained my ankle, but can go for brisk walks so this is probably an excuse) or being too lazy to drag my yoga mat out, i've secretly been dreading this over exposing the Skin season. I know I'm totally confusing, as one minute I'm talking about us women empowering each other to be body confident and the next speaking of hiding my skin......but I guess we are all human. So not feeling as toned as I like and ageing making my body drop a little (that shi* does actually happen. Ahh!). This sweet Topshop piece I found in Soho, New York came at exactly the right time.

Cut to perfection, beautifully designed with a deep old school button down V scooping neckline. And a ultra soft salmon pink sultry cotton fabric, once worn I immediately felt body confident. Gingham is So timeless and with the right chequered design like this vintage 60's inspired piece, it can never ever go out of fashion. Crazy how one can think because you're slim, you don't get days when nothing fits your body. This pretty frock will skim your body nicely and hopefully make you feel body fabulous inside and out this long hot summer :-) X


Tuesday, 29 May 2018


With 'Made for Individuals' as their latest campaign you probably knew a fierce pair of timeless Dr.Martens were bound to appear on this fashion page. As you've already read me telling you how amazing your individual essence, style and shine is. And banging on about not feeling weary to truly express and dress like you. Even if you are from Dagenham, drive an old banger and say silly things alllllll the time like moi (even at 33!). Now you may also be thinking 'Oi where the heck have you been for the last six months?'......But if okay? I'd love to explain more on that in my next blog post. But lets just say I've been pretty busy with Mr old Shakespeare of late (Performing in King Lear and Hamlet to be exact). And just to give you a tiny hint.....I've had the BEST frigging acting experience of my career to date (oh the dramatics).  I truly cried and pinched myself hard at times on tour, especially being a bird from Dagenham in Essex! Did I tell you that I was from dagenham in Essex??...... 

You also need to know that I've been so nervous about re-opening my laptop and blogging again. And if I'm utterly honest I've been putting it off mate. I think its mainly down to not knowing exactly where to start on here. I even forgot how to bleeding login to my blogger account. Anyway I'm fully back! Actually I'm in the blissful market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where old Shakespeare was born which is very midlands, very country and very different to hustling London. Finishing off the last leg of the tour, but so excited to share a lot more Fashion, Life and Fab-ness with you over the next coming weeks.  
Back to this glorious look that you wouldn't typically piece together on a hot summers London Soho day, but if you're a bit of a fashion rebellion (like moi), you So will. In my eyes you just can't go wrong with a outfit which is basically an old vintage graphic tee, faded black classic jeans and chunky effect shoe. And the Docs really do add a firm distinct ounce of individuality to this 'Soho Made For Individuals' look. Detailed with the classic yellow thin outer lace and sharp point (instead of the round toe). The kind of design that pretty much goes with anything in your wardrobe (which I've already over worn with pretty dresses), subtly tough yet ultra feminine. The tee was a New York vintage find celebrating one of the biggest and greatest bands of all time (say no more). The red electric shades are spot on for sharply creating a visual interest, by adding something striking and colourful to this overall 80's/90's eccentric inspired look. 

I hope you have fun recreating this grunge/retro look this summer, and as always many thanks for truly sticking around. You can also kindly help my slightly out of touch style brain by letting me know of any particular looks, or pieces you would love styled and shared on here. You can be as bold as you like or as basic and minimal as you like (basically throw anything at me :-)). I enjoy playing around experimenting with fashion as you know. So just pop a few words below or on my insta page here or twitter here. Now how do I insert a box thing for you to shop this entire look again.....hmmmm....Help!X
Vintage Tee/Metropolis Vintage(Similar Here)/Sunglasses/Beacons Closet(Similar Here & Here)/Bag/Mint Vintage (Similar Here)/Vintage Jeans/Levis@AtikaLondon(Similar)/Shoes/Dr.Martens
Photography/Zoe Griffin